When Duty Calls --
Free Legal Help for Veterans
Filing VA Disability Claims
Veterans needing help to file initial VA claims for disability can get free personalized legal help and review of their claims from attorneys at the law firm of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC, under their program "When Duty Calls."
A law enacted shortly after the Civil War (and still in effect) limits the amount a veteran can pay an attorney for assistance in filing a VA disability claim to $10 and thus effectively prevents them from hiring an attorney. Yet the completeness and accuracy of the information contained in a veteran’s initial disability claim are crucial to its success. Having the claim approved on the first submission significantly speeds up the process.
The "When Duty Calls" campaign has three goals:
- To provide pro bono (free) assistance to as many veterans as possible through an ongoing series of clinics;
- To work with veterans and the VA to find ways to streamline and expedite the service connected disability application process; and
- To motivate attorneys to provide pro bono assistance to veterans.
The VA has provided strong support for this project. Womble Carlyle attorney Tim McClain, former General Counsel for the VA and now a member of WCSR's Washington, DC, office, led a recent training session.
Womble Carlyle hopes to replicate the program in all the states where it has offices. WCSR currently has offices in: Atlanta, GA; Greenville, SC; Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Research Triangle Park, and Winston-Salem, NC; Washington, DC; Tysons Corner, VA; Baltimore, MD; and, Wilmington, DE.
In the "small world" category, Tim McClain is also a retired Navy Judge Advocate (JAG), and served as a well-respected military judge before whom we argued many Courts-Martial.
If you live in a state in which WCSR has offices, and you need assistance in filing a claim for VA disability, go to their website to find the phone number and location of the office nearest you.
And if you live in a state without a WCSR office, call your local bar association and ask if there's a firm in your area with a pro bono program to provide assistance to military members and their families. If not, your call just might encourage one.
Find more information about the "When Duty Calls" program.
Return to Wounded Warriors.